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Donald Trump changes tone on Syrian refugees

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally organized by the Tea Party Patriots against the Iran nuclear deal in front of the Capitol in Washington, DC, on September 9, 2015.  AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Story highlights

  • Trump said the U.S. can't save everybody
  • The U.S. should focus on its debt

Washington (CNN)A day after saying the U.S. should accept more Syrian refugees, Donald Trump seemed to back track on the idea Wednesday.

Following Trump's appearance at a Capitol Hill rally criticizing the Iran nuclear agreement, CNN asked him if the U.S. should welcome refugees fleeing a war-torn Syria.
    But Trump suggested that the U.S. should focus on other issues, including our finances.
    "We have our own problems, we have very big problems between our own borders and our infrastructure and everything else," Trump said. "We have some very big problems. We have to solve our problems and we'd better do it fast. We owe 19 trillion dollars."
    Trump then said the U.S. response should be limited and that other countries should step up more.
    "I think we should help, but I think we should be very careful because frankly, we have very big problems. We're not gonna have a country if we don't start getting smart," he said. "We cannot help everybody through the world. Europe should help. Russian should help. China, they're not doing anything. The Gulf states are doing nothing. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, any of the gulf states, they're doing nothing. They should all help. And then maybe we could do something. But we have big problems to solve and we better solve them fast."
    Donald Trump previously told Fox News that the United States should accept some refugees from Syria due to the "unbelievable humanitarian problem."
    Trump has made anti-immigration rhetoric a cornerstone of his campaign, but the Republican presidential candidate said Tuesday evening that though the migrants could pose a security risk -- floating the idea that there may be individuals with ties to Islamic militants -- he supported allowing some of them into America.
    "I hate the concept of it, but on a humanitarian basis, with what's happening, you have to," Trump said to Fox News' Bill O'Reilly.